pope francis with yellow ribbon
Pope Francis wearing a yellow ribbon on his papal vestment appeared as paid ad in Inquirer. – Photo by Glenn Chong


A photo of Pope Francis wearing a yellow ribbon on his papal vestment has circulated online and received various reactions from netizens.

The said photo originally appeared on page A10 of the Philippine Daily Inquirer as an advertisement paid by Rustan’s. It was published yesterday, January 15.

The yellow ribbon worn by the Holiness has stirred speculations considering that the current administration wears the same political symbol.

Is this really a sign of a political endorsement from Pope Francis? Or was the photo deceptively superimposed to make him speak a political message?

Upon research, the photo indeed appeared on Inquirer. However, many believed that it has no bearing in the current administration or the Philippines in general considering that the pope arrived in the country without a yellow ribbon pinned on his vestment.

Now, where did Rustan’s get the photo?

It can be recalled that Pope Francis once visited South Korea in commemoration of the victims of the Sewol ferry that sunk in April last year. Upon his visit, he reportedly wore the yellow ribbon symbolizing the Sewol tragedy.

pope francis in sewol
Pope Francis wearing a yellow ribbon in South Korea on August 15 to commemorate the Sewol tragedy. Photo by The Hankyoreh

It is safe to assume that the people behind the paid ad grabbed the photo from his Sewol visit or they digitally superimposed the photo to serve a political purpose. Whatever their reasons are, many believed that it was a sign of disrespect to the pope knowing his stand on politics and how he promotes unity and harmony.

Here are the comments of netizens on the Facebook post that brought the concern to the public:

comments on pope yellow ribbon

Rustan’s and other people behind the paid ad must shed light on this matter. Even if they unintentionally use the photo to welcome Pope Francis in the Philippines, the ad still has a political touch on it.

Our question though: why use such photo when there are other images of the pope that you can use if you are honestly, wholeheartedly and innocently acknowledging his visit?




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